The Love Letters to Colorado Toolkit helps promote Colorado by allowing people to share their favorite parts of our beautiful state. Former Colorado Poet Laureate David Mason wrote two poems that inspired two videos that we created to promote the beauty of Colorado's summers and winters.
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By former Colorado Poet Laureate David Mason and Cally Conan-Davies
Snow is falling on the high plateau.
It's falling on the wilderness,
backcountry bowls of powder snow,
lighting up the air, and falling
over sand dunes and the river bend.
The quiet of it warms you like a friend.
It falls on peaks you come to know by heart,
fills the elk herd valleys, drifts
on alpine meadows and on bristlecone.
From Dinosaur to Huerfano,
snowflakes whirling like a million stars
so light you taste them on your tongue.
Sunlight on blue-shadowed snow
dazzles as you strap your snowshoes on
and find your freedom on the trail.
Or climbing the frozen waterfall —
your breath goes out in clouds.
In Colorado, winter sees you looking out
when snow is falling. You step into
your skis and lean into the thrill
of space, the powder billowing.
Your whole body sings. You feel the winter sun
touch your life in pristine air, and watch
the skiers curving down the run,
new tracks of foxes through the aspen.
Snow is flying over Red Rock Canyon.
The open fire invites you in,
the windows of the houses glowing,
and every firelit face will tell
the story of the day. It draws us close.
It's not the cold that has crept inside your skin
but a winter color you can't catch or hold,
lifting you to the snow in Colorado.
By former Colorado Poet Laureate David Mason
If gravity is love of earth the mountains teach us how to fly and bring us back as rivers flow.
You never need to wonder why the wild will take your breath away — that’s how it is in Colorado.
I love her dreaming ranges, marmot rocks and columbine.
I love the rush of mountain air snow pluming off the peaks and top knots of the pines, the quiet everywhere.
Her great rivers get up and grow.
They carry the topsoil of the soul to the primal ocean far below.
I love the bluebird and the whisky jack, the black bear and the antelope, the cattle drive, the buffalo.
I love the canyons of the Ancient Ones.
Maybe they vanished, maybe they’ve never gone.
Remember them among their dwellings, pinyon cliff and watchful crow, the painted hands and animals, coyote’s canny, covert lope, the mesas and the grasslands, the Spanish names, the Ute, Cheyenne, Arapaho, the fancy dancer, Indian flute, the story waiting to be told as old, as new, as now as Colorado.
I love the switchback trail, the wide brim shading a rancher’s eyes, the cat you never see that sees you under the bluest-ever skies.
Step out on a dare, and see you’ve come here for the freedom just like me.
To camp above ten thousand feet is to breathe the air of gods and drink with rainbow trout.
Some come out west to beat the odds and find out that the sky’s the limit, some simply stare — no end to it, the way you can love a land and quite a few of the people in it.
Give me the sage in sunlight, warm even in winter. Give me the moonlit snow.
Give me the Bookcliffs and the farms, the wildflowers of Colorado.